Sermons

Summary: Funeral service for Marcia Jean Tucker, single mother and immigration officer.

Our third-grade teacher was very concerned about our

posture. Day after day she would command her students to

watch their posture. “Sit with your back straight and your

feet flat on the floor; don’t slump in your seat.” “Stand erect,

with your weight equally distributed on both feet; don’t

slouch.” “When you read, hold your book with the light

coming over your right shoulder.” Mind you, that was before

the days of doing your homework by the flickering light of a

television set! “Walk on the balls of your feet.” She noticed

everything. Posture was all-important to this teacher of

mine. She watched us constantly and corrected the way we

walked and sat and stood; and if she had been able to come

to our homes at night, I am sure she would also have given

us advice on how to lie down!

My teacher seemed a bit of a fanatic to us when we were

eight years old and thought we had infinite flexibility. Now,

nearly six decades later, I see her point. Or maybe I should

say, I feel her point, right here in the small of my back!

Posture is important. And what we do with our walking and

sitting and standing is going to have much to do with our

physical health. But if the Bible is to be believed, walking

and sitting and standing are also markers of our spiritual

health. Marcia Jean Tucker learned this lesson and learned

it well. Walking, sitting, standing – her life will teach us

healthy spiritual posture.

I

First, Marcia taught us to pay attention to the way we walk.

Marcia taught us, as the saying goes, to “walk the walk and

not just talk the talk.” Marcia Tucker’s witness is that walking

in integrity is a good thing, but it cannot be done on your

own. If you would walk in integrity, you must also walk in

faithfulness to God. You must trust God, or else your

attempt to walk in integrity is doomed to failure.

The Psalmist confirms this when he says:

.. for I have walked in my integrity, and I have trusted in the LORD

without wavering. ... I walk in faithfulness to you.

Walking in integrity means walking in faithfulness and

trusting God without wavering. Have you ever done a “trust

walk”? A trust walk is an exercise we use to teach people

that others will take care of them. If I were to lead you

through a trust walk, I would blindfold you, and then begin to

give you instructions: “Walk straight ahead; turn right when I

tell you to; turn around and walk backward until I stop you.”

Well, most of you would not feel comfortable doing that. You

wouldn’t be sure you could really trust my judgment or my

intent to keep you from harm. You would likely feel you had

to tear off that blindfold and see for yourself where you were

heading. You would want to walk on your own.

But the Bible teaches us to trust walk with God. If we are

going to walk in integrity, we are also going to have to walk in

faithfulness and trust God. We are in blindfolds, and the only

way we can walk the walk without stumbling and falling is to

trust our guide. Marcia Tucker came to that conclusion. She

had always been concerned with integrity. As a law

enforcement student and then as an immigration officer, she

knew that she had to be a model of integrity for others. She

walked that walk to the best of her ability, but found one

spring day that she could no longer walk it alone. She had to

trust God. And so, though she had worshiped here for some

twenty years, but had never trusted Christ as her savior, on

Palm Sunday of 1998 her walk of integrity became a walk

down this very aisle, where she professed her faith in Christ

as her savior and Lord. She found in Him the power to walk

with real integrity.

Marcia learned, and now Marcia would teach us, that walking

in integrity is not something you can do on your own; you

must walk in faithfulness to God. You must trust Christ as

your guide.

II

But my third-grade teacher was not only concerned about the

way we walked. If anything, she was even more concerned

about the way we sat. We were not to drape ourselves over

chairs or to scoot down in our seats, trying to hide so that we

would not be called on. We were to sit up straight, with our

feet planted firmly on the floor. And if we protested that

other people slumped and let their bodies go limp, she would

announce, quite definitely, that we were not “other people”,

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